Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"René Magritte" at Matthew Marks Gallery

René Magritte, Matthew Marks Gallery, NYC, 2011.
There is a clever little exhibit currently on view at the Matthew Marks Gallery in Chelsea. Titled, "La Carte d'aprés Nature", the exhibit is curated by Thomas Demand, and it is the layout of the show that captured my attention and led me into the gallery.  Turns out that the exhibit takes its name from a journal published by René Magritte from 1951 - 1965. You can imagine my surprise, when I rounded one of the labyrinth corners in the gallery and came face to face with an unmistakable Magritte, hanging quietly in the corner.

René Magritte, Matthew Marks Gallery, NYC, 2011.
As I further explored the gallery, I discovered three such treasures, all hanging on the same main wall, as it winds its way around the space, hung with floor to ceiling "drapery" wallpaper. Turns out the Magrittes, are three rarely seen works from the famous surreal Belgian artist. (Two of which, I would learn from the gallery's press release, are on loan from The Menil Collection in Houston, one of my all-time favorite museums!)

Magritte has a way of combining the everyday and familiar with the completely unexpected. His imagery is almost believable except for the omnipresent wit and whimsy accessible through the freedom of surrealism.

Thomas Demand, the curator, uses Margritte's work as a starting point, and expounds upon Margritte's philosophies throughout the exhibit, weaving together a tale of abstract believability. And although all of the work presented has its merit, I found myself repeatedly returning to the three shining stars of the show - Margritte's paintings.
René Magritte, Matthew Marks Gallery, NYC, 2011.

 The other feature of the show that really impressed me, was the papered wall.

Wallpaper, Matthew Marks Gallery, NYC, 2011.

From floor to ceiling, a main undulating wall had been covered in what appeared to be red velvet curtain wallpaper. The impact is impressive, adding a sense of scale to the height of the gallery, and adding drama to the gold gilded frames Margrittes. 
Wallpaper, Matthew Marks Gallery, NYC, 2011.

 The effect of the wallpaper had me wondering where I can incorporate this technique into my own décor.

For more on Matthew Marks Gallery, visit the website:

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